Over to the one of our very own wonderful wild women for this Blog Post! Interviewed and written by Beth Crowe (round of applause) read right to the end for a date for your diaries! #BigFuckingHike
As a self-confessed lover of the great outdoors, girl power and as a strong advocate of the Lake District being possibly the best place in the whole entire world ever (….like, ever!), I’m proud to say that I have watched the Wonderful Wild Women collective thrive. My only regret is that I have often watched from social media, while in a different city or, most recently, a different country.
Not that I’m complaining, I have been extremely lucky to call a number of locations home over the years, including the beautiful Italian alps. After doing my first season I attempted to return to the 9 to 5 back in England but it just wasn’t for me, so I made the decision to quit my job, go freelance, and escape to the alps as a self-employed, admittedly extremely nervous, full time snow bum.
My love for snowboarding is what led me to the alps, but it’s also what led me to meeting a group of very talented, savvy and hilarious ladies who I now have the absolute pleasure of working alongside…the SNOOKS girls.
As a women’s collective who are passionate about getting outside with our mates, supporting our fellow ladies and making the most of this beautiful planet, it’s easy to see how perfectly SNOOKS aligns with the ideology of Wonderful Wild Women. So we wanted to get to know the girls behind WWW a little better and find out what makes the ladies tick.
SNOOKS: Who are the Wonderful Wild Women and was the idea for this collective born?
WWW: The Wonderful Wild Women are, at the core, a community of women who enjoy the outdoors, endeavour to make the most of their day/week/month with any kind of adventure, big or small, and want to share or connect with like-minded others.
We really believe that the outdoors should be inclusive to all no matter of ability, age, experience etc and it is something we are really trying to work towards.
Within WWW HQ we have a growing number of Ambassadors who are passionate about the Wonderful Wild Women ethos. They all have their stories, journeys, strengths and experiences which when brought together within the community help to make it increasingly more accessible and inclusive for all women.
SNOOKS: What makes the women who support you so Wonderful and Wild?
WWW: Deep down we are all a bit Wild and Wonderful! Sometimes through our journeys or life experience this can be squashed or suppressed for whatever reason and confidence can be lost!
The ‘Wonderful’ element for us is about accepting and realising our self-worth – often women can be judged negatively for having confidence or for putting themselves first, but it is so important for women (and people) to allow themselves that time and care so they can go on doing the amazing day to day things, those responsibilities which are often the reasons for neglecting our own needs.
The ‘Wild’ element is much more connected in our love of the outdoors, whether you have a more holistic and spiritual connection with nature or you see the outdoors as a natural playground to push your limits in a chosen sport or whether you are somewhere in between… we all need that time to be wild, disconnect from our ‘real lives’ and discover ourselves and abilities.
We think all women possess elements of wonderfulness and wildness, they are just all so different and the community is a place for all those differences and strengths to be accepted, acknowledged and not judged – giving space for connection and growth with ourselves and others.
SNOOKS: What has been the most exciting moment of WWW to date?
WWW: There have been many to be honest. The journey as a whole has been overwhelming and to see the growth of the community on Instagram and locally within The Lake District has been very humbling!
Personally, I (Sarah) have met and connected with people who I know will be lifelong friends, we have each opened up doors to new ventures and possibilities through meeting and they have 100% impacted my life in a positive way. Hearing others who have had a similar experience is what it is all about for me. Hearing women say “I never thought I could ever do this” or “this is my first time wild swimming” etc is very special.
Some stand out moments would probably be:
– Hitting 1k followers on Instagram – this is the point I went ‘public’!
– Our first walk in the Lakes, going up Blencathra. This is when the community became more than just visual inspiration.
– The first Summer Solstice Celebration with Proper Northern Yoga, This was the first collaborative gathering and we spent an evening doing yoga and outdoor swimming. Expecting just our friends to come along we ended up with over 70 women joining us! They just kept arriving from all directions!
– And more recently the completion of our 36 Hour Relay Challenge which took myself, Kate and Bex on a lap round the Lakes via mountain bike and foot, with a swim in there for good measure!
SNOOKS: What is it that you think connects WWW and a brand like SNOOKS?
WWW: We both acknowledge the diversity amongst women and we have parallel goals to allow more women to get out and be active with confidence! There’s no ‘one size fits all’!
And we are all women who believe in the power of supporting other women!
SNOOKS: What Wonderful and Wild things do you like to do in your spare time, when you get some time away from work?
WWW: We all have very different core activities that we enjoy in our spare time but those which also overlap!
In terms of fitness & physical health – fell running, outdoor swimming, mountain biking, climbing, road riding, yoga, meditation, snowboarding / skiing, walking… but not forgetting those less ‘active’ activities which also support mental well-being – photography, drawing, reading – basically creativity and a good old chatter over breakfast, coffee & cake or a good G&T!
SNOOKS: What adventures do you have planned for this summer and the near future?
WWW: We have some exciting get togethers coming up in the WWW Calendar including some local walks, outdoor swims & wild yoga! And then a little further afield we will be spending August bank holiday in Snowdonia where we have an exciting event booked with Vivienne Rickman-Poole (www.viviennerickmanpoole.co.uk).
I am also off to Canada for the best part of a month, exploring BC. I am very excited and hoping to connect with some of the WWW community over there.
As the summer ends and autumn winter arrives we also have some plans for more midweek get togethers to encourage people out even on the dark nights!
SNOOKS: What are the goals for the WWW and what do you find is key to achieving them?
WWW: Future goals… gosh… sometimes I’m still pinching myself at how the community has developed so far! But we do have plans…
One of the important aims is to continue to establish a strong network here in the Lake District. We are a grassroots community and personal connection is really important. All of our current Ambassadors are based here and 90% of our gatherings and meets are here but over time we do hope to expand this further across the UK and we have begun making steps towards this.
Connection with outdoor / sporting / wellness brands would be great to help push the mainstream representation of females in the outdoors; which we find is generally defined through professional models or high achieving athletes.
And just keep doing what we are doing, refining it & discovering what it is the community wants so we can respond to that need the best way we can.
If you’re like us and spend your weekends escaping the 9 to 5 to get out into the great outdoors, or spend your holidays throwing yourselves down, or climbing, the biggest mountain you can find, then you have to check out the Wonderful Wild Women. When we first discovered them we were immediately inspired to to grab our best girlfriends and go on adventure, and we’re pretty sure you will be too. And with the great British summer upon us, there’s no better time to get your trainers on and get out there!
So they’re we have it follow them, be inspired, get involved with those wonderful women….In fact – Team Snooks love the idea so much we wanted to collaborate even more with WWW. We love to hike, they like to hike, who else likes to hike?! The Snooks girls, Wonderful Wild Women AND four winners from our social media competition will be getting together for one BIG F****NG HIKE, taking on the revered and feared Helvellyn!
You can follow all the action on 22nd September on our Instagram @thesnooksgirls
In Celebration of International Women’s Day
So here at SNOOKS we’re all about a bit of girl power, and with International Women’s Day, as we meandered over how to celebrate the awesome-ness of our favourite shred chicks out there, we thought what better way than to revel in all the badass glory of the 2018 Winter Olympics?
There’s no denying that right now the ladies are absolutely killing it when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. We couldn’t have been prouder watching some of our fave girls sending it and laying it down in Pyeongchang this past month. As creators of the UK’s first snow wear brand for women, by women, we wanted to spread some love for our gals and share with you our highs and lows from the comps this winter.
It goes without saying that we were GUTTED that Katie Ormerod injured herself in practice before the slopestyle qualifiers. As one of the most innovative British riders to emerge in the past few years we all had our hopes pinned on this northern hopeful. Alas it wasn’t meant to be, with Katie fracturing both her arm and ankle before competing, eliminating her from any hopes of a medal. This was followed by Aimee Fuller unfortunately having an absolute wounder of a crash in the Big Air contest, taking one to the face on her final run. As true believers in GB snowsports we were all heartbroken for the girls, but we’re sure they’ll bounce back and do us all proud in up and coming contests. If their social media accounts are anything to go by then these girls won’t let anything stop them progressing through women’s snowboarding, and that’s why we love them!
On a more positive note in women’s snowsports, we were all absolutely delighted to see 19 year old Izzy Atkin charge her way to medal glory in the women’s freestyle skiing. Atkin, born and raised in the US to an English father and a Malaysian mother, did us all proud when she nailed the contest finals going into her final run sitting in fourth place, but she triumphed when she finished with a score of 84.80 points to take the bronze. Not only is Izzy killing it when it comes to representing British freestyle skiing, she’s also the first Briton ever to win an Olympic medal for skiing! Now if that’s not girl power then we don’t know what is!
If there’s any two ladies we have to mention when it comes to these Olympics, it has to be Chloe Kim and Anna Gasser.
Now we always knew that Kim would be a tough one to beat when it came to the snowboarding halfpipe; at only 17 years old she’s not only got two gold medals under her belt from the Youth Olympics, but she’s also a four time X-Games medalist and, now, the youngest woman to ever win a snowboarding Olympic medal. Watching Kim sail her way through halfpipe is like watching a bird take flight; her amplitude and grace is second to none, and her fearless nature ensures that she raises the bar like no-one else. Dropping in with her infamous back to back 1080s we knew Chloe was going to give every other competitor a run for their money, but finishing with a massive high score of 98.25 we couldn’t have been more proud. (Side note – the fact that this girl was tweeting about being hangry before the contest just secured her a place in our hearts, when you need a sandwich, you need a sandwich.)
Anna Gasser has been astounding the snowboarding scene since she emerged as a professional contender in 2017….yes, that’s last year! This chick has the grace and elegance of a ballerina on the slopes; her gravity defying abilities are quickly becoming second to none and every time she drops in we excitedly await what she’ll turn up with. This year at the Olympics, despite having a disappointing start in the slopestyle contests, Gasser absolutely annihilated all competition in the Big Air final. She and American Jamie Anderson were, not surprisingly, battling out for gold until the very last minute, but it was Gasser’s final run, and her astounding double cork 1080s that secured her a gold medal score of 96.00. Our favourite part? Watching all of her peers, and competition, shower her with hugs and kisses as they celebrated her victory.
On that note, our highest point of this year’s Winter Olympics, on this International Women’s Day, has to be the amount of love and support that each and every female Olympian has shown one another on social media. No matter what country they represented, no matter what sport they competed in, us SNOOKS girls just loved seeing our favourite shred chicks spreading all the love for their peers on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. In this day and age that kind of sisterhood is something to really treasure, and we think it’s such a strong advocate of women’s snowsports to recognise the level of support, and consequently, progression that is encouraged within the industry.
And so while we can all celebrate the triumphs, victories and medals of Pyeongchang, isn’t the biggest win for women the solidarity and unity that was evident throughout the Winter Olympic Games? With some of the riding being described as the most progressive ever seen in competitions to date, we can’t wait to see what our favourite ladies will stomp next.
So, on this International Women’s Day, get your girls together, grab your skis, grab your board, just grab a cuppa tea or a beer, and value the solidarity of sisterhood.
At SNOOKS, that’s what we’re all about.
Life changing. Surprisingly satisfying
Okay so I am fairly new to this game but 3 months after not using a single tampon, I feel liberated! A couple of quick fire reasons before you ‘save for later’ or read the first 2 sentences and move on:
Comfort | No Chuff Chafe | Cost efficiency | The Environment | Screw you tampon tax* | Pelvic floor muscle work out | Be a trailblazer | ‘a more balanced microbiobe without tampons messing with your chuff’ | The planet needs saving | Love of the mountains | Happier microbiome | Decrease in risk of Candida
Got your attention? Allow me to explain:
We all know we need to be mindful of our wastage and reducing the amount of plastic that we use. Us SNOOKS girls became even more aware of this when we attended the SheExtreme film premiers in Bristol a few months back….One particular campaign and excellent adventurous documentary #PaddleAgainstPlastic left some really surprising stats at the forefront of our minds: every bit of plastic that has ever been produced, still exists. 38.5million single use plastic bottles are used every day in the UK ALONE!! WHAT!? How can this be sustainable? How can this be? It simply is not!
[Please note, at this point, I was sat next to Caly Major, who is leading the campaign, and filmed the most epic adventure circumnavigating around Isle of Skye solo on a stand up paddle board to raise awareness of plastic in our oceans…. whilst I was sipping a cider out of a plastic pint cup, feeling very guilty. I promised her I would re-use that cup as many times as I could…She was totally cool! And so right…it’s not about telling people off, or judgement, it’s about awareness, about taking the responsibility and understanding the consequences of our actions as consumers. Making people think. Changing behaviours. I have since invested a couple of quid into a re-usable coffee cup too!]
As a result of our time with Caly, we started to consider how our disposal of feminine products contributes to worldwide pollution and what we can do to minimise the impact individually in any small way we can.
On the very topical subject of environmentally friendly and sustainable living, using a Mooncup can absolutely be the small change you can take cutting down on your waste, whilst-preventing you from numerous risks associated with using tampons, such as TSS, Abrasions on the inside of your vagina due to dry foof (gross), disrupted bacteria and unbalanced microbiome of your mermaid’s purce, and even cancer, YES cancer! Okay – not to scare you but when you actually think of it outside of our ‘social norms’ it is quite an odd thing, sticking cotton wool up there! (And the ‘feminine hygiene’ industry is a mutli-billion dollar industry?!)
As the guardian explains: “The average woman uses roughly 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. The time it takes for a tampon or pad to degrade in a landfill is centuries longer than the lifespan of the woman who used it, particularly when wrapped in a plastic wrapper or bag. In addition, the process of manufacturing these products – turning wood pulp into soft, cotton-like fibres – is both resource- and chemical-intensive.” Can anyone argue this really makes sense!
I don’t know about you but my mind is blown thinking of this amount of plastic cups and this amount of tampons floating in our oceans!
This all leads me nicely on to introducing Mrs Mooncup. If you don’t know what a Mooncup, or other variant looks like. Here is the beauty:
And before this I thought. That’s for hippies, that’s gross. Mooncup themselves have written a great article on how a Mooncup is a backpackers best friend! I am totally sitting so far on the otherside of the fence now, I am a dot to the tampon! In fact, the Mooncup, used correctly is extremely hygienic and much better for your body than any feminine products on the market.
I would like to thank my Mooncup Mentor for first enlightening me to this. You know who you are! Whilst talking about changing the world, whilst having a merry old time at Boomtown Festival, whilst me being in shock at the realisation that I NEVER HAVE TO BUY A TAMPON AGAIN! And if a Mooncup really doesn’t take your fancy TOTM also agree it’s time to be kinda to your vagina and are better biodegradable
Being a woman, why should our menstrual habits be such a taboo!? As half of the population, there’s enough of us to talk about it. Let’s talk about it! Raise those cups up in the air and sing it loud! I use a moon cup and I’M PROUD!
Hey – and if you are a guy reading this, what would you do!?
Big thanks to all the wonderful other speakers and film premiers at SheExtreme festival, especially Bex Band from Love Her Wild for her inspirational words and interview! If you are looking at more ways/ideas to get involved in protecting our planet, head over to the POW: Protect Our Winters website – a passionate crew of diehards, professional athletes and industry brands mobilizing the outdoor sports community to lead the charge towards positive climate action.
*The tampon tax – government has said the tax will be scrapped, although the bill hasn’t gone through yet. In the meantime, the tax paid on tampons/sanitary products is being granted to 70 women’s charities in the UK. However… one of these charities is a controversial anti-abortion charity called Life!
Most of the big supermarkets have actually reduced the cost of their sanitary products by 5% to cover the VAT. (Tampon tax is actually an EU law, so the UK first began charging VAT on sanitary products in 1973, then reduced it from 20% to 5%, the lowest possible rate, in 2010).
And if you liked this post, don’t forget to check out the final few hours of our KICKSTARTER campaign, keeping the SNOOKS dream alive! T-MINUS 2 days to get your PRE-ORDER IN!
An Independent streak: We caught up with a few of our favourite UK independent ski/snowboard retailers…
SNOOKS is proud to be designed and made in the UK! There is so much snowboardery goodness to be celebrated here, the global success of our female heroes like Omerod and Jonesy is enough to put GB on the world stage – not bad for a country with very little actual snow! Not only this but we have some of the sickest independent snow focused stores in the UK. These guys have serious passion for the industry and are constantly innovating and finding their niches to stay in strong competition with the online beefcakes. It’s important to remember the people at the heart of the snowboarding scene so here’s why we are sharing our top hand selected independents that you simply HAVE to check out: